Facility Spotlight – Pacific Beach Tennis Club
There was a time back just a few short years ago that a 25-square mile area of San Diego contained the most talented group of junior tennis players you could find anywhere in the world.
Names like Keegan Smith, Jacob Brumm, Timothy Sah, Ryan Seggerman, Ivan Thama and Alafia Ayeni were six of the nation’s top 20 players, and the class of an area that year after year has produced some of the best junior tennis players in the nation and beyond.
Steve Adamson, the Director of Tennis and Manager of the Pacific Beach Tennis Club in the Mission Bay area of San Diego County, has had a front-row seat watching young juniors like those listed above develop for the past 15 years.
Adamson, originally from Canada, originally discovered the area as a junior himself, recruited to play his college tennis at San Diego State. Following three and a half years on the pro tour, Adamson settled back into the good life down south.
The Pacific Beach Tennis Club has eight lit courts and sits adjacent to the Mission Bay Golf Course near Sea World and just a few miles from the Barnes Tennis Center, home to the USTA Billie Jean King Girls’ Nationals 18s and 16s. It is home to the Steve Adamson Tennis Academy. It is a public facility that offers memberships to use the courts.
“We’ve had a great group of San Diego kids and so we decided to start the academy,” Adamson said. “We’ve just been really lucky with the quality of players that have come through here. They are all friends and we just have a great kind of atmosphere. San Diego has always been a big tennis town anyway, but just to have that group come up together was special to see.”
On any given day you might find a young pro like Henry Craig or Isaiah Strode on the courts. They come because they know the best competition in SoCal congregates there, including guys two of the nation’s top juniors Siem Woldeab and Zach Svajda, one of just three 15-year-olds in the world to have an ATP World Tour ranking.
“We’ve got a lot of kids in the 12s too who get to look up to these guys,” Adamson said. “It really is exciting.”
Zach’s father Tom Svajda is a teaching pro at the club, as is Zach’s Serbian-born coach Uros Petronijevic, the former No. 1 player for the University of San Diego
Adamson said the courts are busy daily with adults play, as well. But the club’s signature event is the Powell Blankenship Junior Tournament that takes place each May. The tournament is named for longtime Pacific Beach Tennis Club teaching pro so beloved in the community who died in 2005 from cancer at the age of 72.
For more information on the Pacific Beach Tennis Club, visit: pbtennis.com.